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– Rough Trade
31 March - 13 April
Brick Lane - an exhibition of photography by Phil Maxwell
Howie B... in association with Bowers & Wilkins
April 9, 7:00pm
NO WRISTBAND NEEDED - JUST COME DOWN ON THE NIGHT
PRE-ORDER THE HOWIE B BUNDLE ONLINE NOW
He's one of the creators of trip hop. He collaborated with Soul II Soul on their epochal 'Club Classics Vol 1', he's written songs with Bjork. He's produced U2. He's played bonkers sets of boshing techno. He's remixed everyone from Placebo to Annie Lennox.
And now, Howie B is back with his first studio album in over five years and the first on his new label, HB Recordings. 'Down With The Dawn' is a warped ride through the mind of the Scottish talent, veering away from the often conceptual approach of his other albums to instead create an assemblage of the multifarious musical trajectories that he frequents. Free from any shackles of working with and molding another artist's sounds, Howie allows himself total musical freedom on this record - and the results are wildly varied and captivating.
This album is also his most collaborative effort to date, with the likes of Gavin Friday (Virgin Prunes), Joe Hirst (Bloc Party/DJ Shadow/Jarvis Cocker) and Italian musicians Riccardo Tesio and Gianni Maroccolo working alongside him.
The futuristic bombast of 'Frankie's City' kicks the album into life while the lolloping ambient acid of 'Run Always' harks back to some of his most slumberous past works. There's the self-explanatory quirk of 'Kazoo', the mellifluous warmth of the title track, and the hypnotic introspection of 'Can I Close My Eyes'. The whirling synths and lo-fi glitch of 'Ganzi' are clinically juxtaposed by the hushed chimes and barely-there beat of 'Heaven', while the yearning synth-strings of 'Authentication' are an unexpected piece of intense emotion following in their wake. 'Master Inch Mile Haunch' comes laden with brooding, dark tones, 'Night Nice' brings some hazy electronic dub to the table, and 'Summers Flower' brings the album to a close with the album's only vocal performance - a fittingly haunting one to fit with the track's ghost-of-trip-hop aesthetic.
'Down With The Dawn' is a quietly thrilling album, providing a refreshing antidote to the overly-processed and predictable sounds of today - and one that will speak volumes to both lovers of Howie's back catalogue and curious new audiences alike. Through his label Pussyfoot, his series of artist albums with Polydor under his own name (plus others as Skylab and various aliases) Howie B built up his own reputation as a formidable artist in tandem with his growing prowess as a production genius across the '90s and 2000s.
His output has grown ever more diverse in scope in recent years, with projects including creating a score for a show at the Milan Planetarium, working as creative director for Italian fashion house Fornarina, writing soundtracks for four Chinese feature films in the last four years as well as scoring independent films including 'Dollhouse', 'How To sell A Banksy' and 'Rabbit' and most recently the end title music (co-written with Robbie Robertson and Matthew McConaughey) for Martin Scorsese's new film 'The Wolf of Wall Street'.